Photo by Abby Koskinas of Tara Lee Burns in Extending the Body

I am an interdisciplinary dance artist, choreographer, and educator interested in reimagining dance, theater, movement, and design-making practices through and with technology.

I get excited about the aesthetics of objects and how they affect space. Dancers, screens, bags of topsoil, 60-foot strings of elastic, VR-headsets and virtual objects, inanimate or animate; I’m interested in shaping the space by moving what’s in it. Textures, depth, and the malleability of objects displace space and inform the space between. When combining a human body and inanimate objects I’m interested in the contrast that informs similarities. The expression of a human face, the personality and human imperfection that make this moment unique. To highlight the contrasts between the ephemerality of moving space between bodies and objects, I often create improvisational and choreographic algorithms and/or tasks that keep the environment generative and allow humanness of the performer’s choices to come to the surface during performance. I do not use technology to overshadow or discount the effort, sweat, and resilience I value in dance practice but to enhance the bodily facility and forefront new ways of sensing and moving.

My performance and embodied interests lie in the physical effort of moving, the hardness of it, and the sensations (and thoughts) inside the body and mind. These are catalysts for my move-making. I’m engaged with intimacy and sometimes the lack thereof. Is there humanness or power dynamic in the audience/performer gaze? Both? How is energy shaped in spaces movers inhabit? How do we create communities that respect the witnessing of others’ parallel realities? What are the implications in the physical world of a performance with a medium that is meant for a single user in a virtual space, such as Virtual Reality? Uncomfortable postures and contradicting gestures populate my choreography which I believe exhibits a somatic evocation of raw emotions filtered through a colonized body but perhaps, at times, gives physical cues to the bodies of the viewers. Endurance, upside-down, rolling, and falling surround my thoughts about athleticism. In my choreography and classes, I revel in the expansiveness of core-distal relationships that can affect the stability of the pelvis and then break the tension with gestures and postures.

Download -> Tara Lee Burns CV